Friday, December 10, 2010

Seeds in Need of a Good Home

It has become a tradition every year to give away the extra seeds that I've saved. I never require trades. It is always a joy to share my seeds with others including new gardeners who haven't even thought about saving seed yet. Maybe this will get them to try next year. In the past I've had more to share, but this year because of the move, only easy to collect seeds have been saved. No biennials, no herbs, nothing that needs extra time to bear seeds and nothing that needs isolation.

I'll ship anything except bean seed anywhere in the world. I put them in a card and that usually keeps them safe enough and its cheap for me to ship. Beans are too big and fragile. They need special packaging. I'll ship them to the US and Canada. I will probably ship all the requests out after Christmas unless I need to go to the PO before then. I avoid the PO at this time of the year.

I do ask for things though. I ask any of you to send me seeds that I'm looking for. Last year I asked for Asian greens and lettuce. I ended up with way more than I could even trial this year. Luckily the seed lasts, so I'll do more lettuce trials next year. This year I'm looking for pole beans. I grew several new varieties of bush beans this year, but I'm not a fan of the bush bean. I want pole beans. They look beautiful on their supports in the garden; make better use of space; and let the squash ramble over the ground. I'm not looking for green beans. I like Kentucky Wonder (though maybe I'll ask Granny to send back a few Fortex to try again). What I'm hoping for are dried beans. I'm guessing not many of you grow them. I may be wishing into thin air, but I have a lot of space allotted to them next year. I wish I could find a pinto or kidney bean, but I've never seen one offered. I think when the SSE yearbook gets here I'm going to have fun looking at beans. But if any of you have pole beans that you love and can spare some seed, send me an email.

Now on to the list of seeds.

Tomatoes - sadly I can't find the seed of Amish Paste. I'm quite sad. I saved seed of both Amish Paste and Market Miracle and neither of their seeds are anywhere to be found. I have exactly two Amish Paste seeds left. So if anyone can spare a few that has some I'd love some.

For the following listings below the date in the parentheses is the year I harvested. None of the tomatoes were isolated.

1) Progeny of GabrielleAnn, Sungold F4 (2010)- Sungold is a hybrid tomato so the seed doesn't grow out true to the plant. These are seeds from the F3 plant I grew this year. It produced prolifically. It didn't split as much as my other cherries. It was the second most prolific tomato in my garden. It was not as sweet as the normal Sungold, but then my Chocolate Cherry wasn't as sweet as usual either. It could be the seed; it could be the weather; it could be the soil.

2) Heinz 2653 (2010) 68 days - Seed originally from Fedco. Heinz was not a pretty plant. It was scrawny and a bit sickly, but it was very productive for the short time in the garden. It put out all of its tomatoes very quickly. It started ripening at the same time as the cherry tomatoes. And it finished fast too. It is a paste tomato and good for canning as the harvest all comes at once. There should be time for fall crops in the space after it is finished. The tomatoes had a great taste, better than San Marzano, but not quite up to Amish Paste.

3)Cherokee Purple (2010) 77 days - Seed originally from Dan. A black beefsteak tomato. In the warm dry summer we had (80s and low to mid 90s mostly), it was fabulously productive. Out produced all my other plants by two to four times. It was the best tasting of all the tomatoes in the garden.

4)Romeo Roma (2010) 75 days - Seed originally from Unique paste tomato. If you want large paste tomatoes for easy processing this is the one for you. The tomatoes can get over a pound. Very dry flesh with hollow interiors. The plant has weak not very branching stems and likes to sprawl. With a cage, it has to be tied to the sides or it will collapse. Taste is fine, but nothing to write home about. Not terribly prolific.

5) Market Miracle (2009) 70 days- Seed originally from This is my workhorse tomato. Originally a Siberian tomato, it can handle cold northeast (or northwest) conditions. This is a standard red beefsteak. It puts out beautifully perfect tomatoes of 6-8 oz. The taste is good, but not great like Cherokee Purple. A standard homegrown tomato taste. It is fairly prolific and can produce in conditions other tomatoes can't.

6) San Marzano (2006) 80 days - Not my saved seed, but some left in a packet. No need for it to go to waste even though I won't be growing it. San Marzano is the standard of paste tomatoes.

Other Solanums

6) Sport of a Pueblo Tomatillo (it really needs a name - any ideas?) (2010). Seed originally from Fedco. Most of the tomatillos from the seed I got put out 1"-1 1/2" tomatillos. This one had tomatillos over 2" and the plant was much more upright. It branched less and was a prettier plant. Even with that it seems to set the same amount of tomatillos, which means it was more prolific as each one was larger. So I saved seeds from this plant. It might grow out as the smaller one, it might grow out as the bigger one.

7) Early Jalapeno (2009) (isolated with a cage) - Seed originally from Pinetree. Nice jalapeno. Doesn't get very hot unless it is stressed in some way.

Beans - none were isolated. There might be crossing.

8) Trail of Tears (2010) - Seed originally from the Ottawa Gardener. Very prolific pole beans. Said to be carried by the Cherokee on the Trail of Tears.

9) Ottawa Cranberry (2010) - Seed originally from the Ottawa Gardener. Pole bean.

10) Tiger's Eye (2010) - Seed originally from Dan. Bush bean.

11) Red Kidney (2010) - Seed originally from Fedco.

12) Black Coca (2010) - Seed originally from Fedco.


13) Ground Control Marigold (2010) - Seed originally from Pinetree. A large rambling marigold that was bred to kill off nematodes in the garden. I interplant with my tomatoes. Often hacking the plant back to keep in under control.

So there you have it. Thirteen different things to choose from. The first year I sent out just a few packets of seed. Last year it was about 24. I wonder how many I'll be sending out this year.


  1. Very generous of you Daphne.
    I've never had pole beans only bush but was contemplating at least trying some. Sending an email now.

  2. I am thinking about growing pole beans for drying next year. I prefer pole beans over bush beans in every case. I've never grown ANY bean for drying, so I have to study up on it. Can you recommend a couple for a beginner in dried beans? I'm looking for info, not necessarily seed. They all look so pretty, like individual works of art. I also need to come up with some recipes for these dried beans. Chili, baked beans or whatever. They all taste good!
    Veggie PAK

  3. Sadly I am too far away as your beans look just amazing. I have just been drying out some of my pumkin seeds, I had some strange varieties pop up this year so they must have been hybrids of some sort. What ever they taste very good. Diane

  4. This is a great way to keep the seed collection in check! Did you know that the new SSE yearbook offerings are already online? I know it's nice to actually sit down with the book and a nice cup of herb tea, but...

  5. I can send you some Amish Paste - they arrived too late for me to plant them this fall so I have a full package.

    I have lots of extra pole bean seeds both dry/shell and fresh. I don't have Kentucky Wonder but I'll make a list and email it to you. I'll be isolating and saving seeds from my Chaco Canyons and Soisson's Verts - they'll be flowering in a few weeks - these are no longer available so I was planning to save seeds this winter. I'm pretty sure I still have your email address - if not I'll let you know!

  6. Amish Paste -

  7. Market Miracle -

    Although now that I reread your post, I'm not sure if you're saying you couldn't find your own seeds, or you couldn't find them for sale?

  8. I'm so glad you think the CPs are good -- I'm not growing many others. The beans are so pretty.

    I don't think I need anything -- enjoy your gifting.

  9. there are lots of goodies you can make with the beans.

  10. I'm amazed that you've been able to collect so many shell beans. I've always been under the impression that there wasn't enough space in the average home garden to really make growing them worth wild. Maybe I should give it a go this year.

  11. Very generous, what a grat idea to share when you have more than enough, if only I had a garden :)

  12. I will get to everyone's email this weekend sometime. It might take a while. But there is no issue with asking for lots of things. Ask away. If I don't have enough of something (which didn't happen last year) then I'll send fewer seeds to everyone.

    Barbie, Pole beans are more work since you have to put up the supports, but I really like them. They are so much easier to pick.

    Veggie Pak, I've only grown the two, Trail of Tears and Ottawa Cranberry (which is a variety of Vermont Cranberry most likely). That is why I want to try more. I agree. They all taste good.

    Diane, I always love the weird ones that cross. I don't mind it as much as most do. You can get some fun things out of crosses, even if you can't count on them.

    michelle, it is. I go through my seed collection every year, throwing out the old, getting rid of what I don't need. Giving away the extras. Ack already. I need to start looking. I do prefer the paper version though. Even if it doesn't have photos.

    Jane, I wonder how many seeds I'll end up with. I always love to trial things.

    Karen Anne, I know I can buy them online, but if someone has saved them or has a small amount of extra seed I can get it from them. I know it is a popular one. And I have seed from Market Miracle from last year though. Lots of it. I wanted to save some from this year too, but can't find it in the house anywhere.

    Stefaneener, It is always fun give and to get this season. Though I suppose technically it will after this season.

    Sean, oh yes. I so love beans.

    Thomas, It is one of those that takes up space. Especially if you look at pounds per square foot. I think it is worth it. Most don't. Even with my smaller garden I grew some. I love dried beans so much. And this coming year I'll have a LOT of space. So I'll grow more. I'm hoping to be able to grow all that I need (but I'd need pintos and kidneys or a good approximation to do that). Though I suppose I could use cranberries instead of pintos.

    Odds and All, lol you can start one.

  13. I've been thinking that since I have more property here I should look into shelling beans, etc. I'll have to dig up all your posts about it! As usual, Daphne, you've given me food for thought.

    Have a Merry Christmas!

  14. Have you tried sprouting kidney or pinto beans from the grocery store? I'm guessing they are viable - I sprouted some dried lima beans from the grocery store once.

  15. Those beans are such a lovely color!

  16. This is so kind of you! My goal for next year is to save seeds. This year it was to can and freeze as much possible. Guess what? We haven't needed to go grocery shopping in over a month! I will lovingly grow anything you send me. Thank you so much. I'm most interested in the Cherokee beans though... ;)

  17. Tessa, If you have a lot of space dried beans are great. They keep for a long time without processing. Well not much processing.

    Djuna, I'm sure they would be. I have used beans from our local bean farm. But the problem is that commercial farms all use bush beans because you can use machinery to plant and harvest that way. You can't do that with pole beans.

    meemsnyc, thanks

    mckenzie, well send me an email with your address

  18. I'd love to trade with you again Daphne. I have some yellow flat type pole beans that you might like to try.


  19. I found Opalka a bit disease-ridden in the foliage but excellent produces. I might have some amish paste but they'd be old seed.

  20. Ottawa Gardener, Oh I'd love to try some of the beans. Do they have a name, or am I going to have to name them? lol The two pole beans I grow now are from you. One has been named after you since there was no name.

  21. Hi! I follow you from Spain. I have a "potted garden" (I think this is the way to say it) and I'm impressed about your vegetables... are perfect! How could you send me some seeds? I have some seeds to send you back. I wait for your answer!! Thanks!!